2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition opens with $70,000 in cash prizes and new unpublished category

Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017

World’s biggest first place cash prize for a songwriting competition
Judging panel includes Daniel Johns, KLP, Montaigne, The Bamboos’ Lance Ferguson

Songwriters worldwide are invited to enter the 2018 Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition to go into the running for a first place cash prize of A$50,000, courtesy of APRA AMCOS, Alberts and BMG.

Two runners-up cash prizes are also on offer with second place receiving A$10,000 thanks to AMPAL (Australasian Music Publishers Association) and third place taking home A$5,000 courtesy of media sponsor, Seventh Street Media. An exciting addition to the prize slate this year is A$5,000 for the best ‘Unpublished’ work.

First place: A$50,000
Second place: A$10,000
Third place: A$5,000
Unpublished: A$5,000

Melbourne singer-songwriter Gretta Ray earned top honours in last year’s competition for her beguiling song Drive. “The Vanda & Young prize made a huge impact on what I have achieved in the last year. It assisted me in being able to travel overseas to America, write and work on new music there with amazing people, and provided me with the time to wholly focus on my music. That in itself is a gift,” said Ray.

Since the prestigious competition began, it has not only boosted the careers of winners Megan Washington (2009), Kimbra (2011), The Preatures (2013), Husky Gawenda (2014) and Gretta Ray (2016), but to date has raised over A$800,000 for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia (NRMTA).

The 2018 competition is set to take total funds raised since the inception of the competition past A$1million, with the full A$50 entry fee per song going directly towards the work of NRMTA, which uses music therapy to help people cope with the struggles of living with a wide range of needs. These include children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, trauma, illness, dementia, behaviour disorders and learning difficulties.

This year’s judging panel features some of the best ears in the business with over 40 songwriters, producers, media and industry professionals confirmed to take part. They include three-time APRA Songwriter of the Year Daniel Johns, electronic artist and triple j host KLP, ARIA-winner Montaigne, and The Bamboos’ Lance Ferguson, co-writer on the Kungs vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners global smash This Girl.

Daniel Johns said, “Vanda & Young took Australian songwriting to the world and blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. I’m pleased to be involved as a judge for the first time and I am looking forward to hearing some new music.”

Named after the iconic songwriters and founding members of The Easybeats, Harry Vanda and the late George Young, the competition launch coincides with a month of celebrating one of Australia’s most loved bands with a vinyl reissue, a two part mini-series Friday On My Mind on the ABC, and a tribute EP, Rebeat.

Entries are now closed. Good luck!


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